Is your relative or friend a victim of Alzheimers Disease. This post attempts to explain the disease, its symptoms, prevention, history and how to treat Alzheimer Disease? First, let’s look at what is Alzheimer’s Disease?
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
The cerebral cortex is progressively atrophied*. The cerebral atrophy is accompanied by loss of memory and deteriorating mental functioning. The etiology* is unknown. Genetic factors may be involved. The patient usually dies two to eight years after the onset of the disease.
Brain cells start dying at the age of 20 years or so. Ordinarily, they are not newly formed after the embryogenesis and the formation and development of the brain early in life. Hence the dead nerve cells of the brain are not replaced. Memory and mental ability decline as age advances, especially after the age of 65. However, the brain compensates the loss by increasing the efficiency of the living cells.
In Alzheimer’s disease, the quantitative atrophy, degeneration, and death of the cerebral cells are hastened at an alarming rate. The usual senile dementia is mainly accounted for by arteriosclerosis* and the slow, but progressive loss of the cerebral cells. By age 80, on an average, 7% of the peak weight of the brain is usually lost. Arteriosclerosis can be minimized by judicious diet, avoidance of tension and yogic practices. But, being a normal aging process, it cannot be prevented altogether. Multiple small strokes in old age are another cause of progressive mental disability. But none of these factors can be said to directly cause Alzheimer’s disease.
History of Alzheimer’s Disease
This condition was previously known as pre-senile dementia. Its present name is Alzheimer’s disease. It is named after the German psychiatrist and neurologist Alois Alzheimer who first described it in 1907. One out of 25 cases of senile dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Females are affected twice as often as males. Persons of over 60 years of age are usually affected, the incidence increasing with age.
Hot to treat Alzheimer’s Disease
If a person starts practicing Sirsasana from his young age, he gets the benefit in the advanced age. Alzheimer’s disease is prevented by this asana. In very old age, Sirsasana is contraindicated. Pranayama, especially nadi-shodhana pranayama, with or without retention, avoids anoxia to the brain. A yogi who practices pranayama regularly prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
The yogic diet contains little fat. It is not supposed to be greasy. It is vegetarian. The yogi practices meditation. The concentrations of catecholamines and corticosteroids are not allowed to be high in the yogi’s blood. Meditation itself retards the aging process of the brain. A life, with no tension and anxiety, or with a bare minimum with spiritual ecstasy, ever surrendered to God drastically retards the aging process of the brain.
Old persons should avoid disuse atrophy of the brain. They should have some mental hobby. If the brain is allowed to be non-functional and idle, it is not likely to atrophy due to disuse.
One should make conscious efforts to be happy, even amidst threatening situations of hostility and roughness of life. It is possible for a yogi to be detached and to be unaffected with agony and adversity. Detachment is the key to happiness. Such a yogi can hardly be a victim to Alzheimer’s disease.
If you get the preliminary symptoms of senile dementia, practice yoga-nidra to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The following sankalpa is recommended.
“No atrophy of my cerebrum. My brain is healthy and active.”
*atrophy – (of body tissue or an organ) waste away, especially as a result of the degeneration of cells, or become vestigial during evolution.
*arteriosclerosis – hardening of the arteries
*etiology – it is the study of causation or origination
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